New Delhi: On Saturday, 12th December, Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered the inaugural address at FICCI’s 93rd Annual General Meeting and Annual Convention via video conferencing. According to a press communication from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), PM Modi complimented the Indian private sector for not only meeting the domestic needs but also for its capability to establish a strong brand for India globally. The commitment of every citizen towards Aatmanirbhar Bharat is an example of the country’s faith in its private sector, he said.
Prime Minister Modi said that in life as well as governance, a confident person never hesitates in giving space to others. A strong government, backed by massive mandate exudes that confidence and dedication, he stated, adding that a decisive government always strives to remove obstacles for others and always tries to contribute towards society and the nation. Such a government doesn’t want to hog the control and initiative, he observed, adding that he recalled the time when the government was in all the sectors and described the ruin brought about by this approach on the economy. A visionary and decisive government, on the other hand, encourages all the stakeholders to realise their potential, said PM Modi, saying that in the last six years, the government is encouraging stakeholders in all sector. This is reflected in the all-round reforms in sectors ranging from manufacturing to MSME; agriculture to infrastructure; from the tech industry to taxation and from real estate to regulatory easing, he added.
The Prime Minister told the gathering that India’s industry needs bridges, not walls. By removing the walls separating various sectors of the economy there will be new opportunities for everyone, especially the farmers who will get new options, he remarked. Investment in technology, cold storage, and the agri-sector will benefit farmers. The Prime Minister called for investing energy in finding ways to make agriculture, service, manufacturing, and social sectors complement each other. An organisation like FICCI can be both bridge and inspiration in this endeavour, he declared. We should work with a goal to strengthen the local value and supply chain and how to expand India’s role in the global supply chain, he encouraged, saying, “India has the market, manpower, and also the capability to work in mission mode.”
PM Modi cited success of financial inclusion through the trinity of JAM (JanDhan, Aadhar and Mobile) as the best example of a planned and integrated approach to reform under this Government. This, the world’s largest Direct Benefit Transfer system, came in for praise when the country could transfer money in the crores of accounts through a click of button during the pandemic time, he observed.
The Prime Minister spoke of the steps to help the farmers and the agri-sector at length. PM Modi said, “Through policy and intention (niti aur niyat), the Government is committed to the welfare of the farmers.” Noting the increasing vibrancy of the agri-sector, PM Modi talked of new alternative available to the farmers to sell their produce outside the mandis, modernisation of mandis, and option of selling the produce on electronic platforms. All this is directed to make the farmer prosperous as a prosperous farmer means a prosperous nation, he said.
Prime Minister Modi pointed out that private sector investment in agriculture is not up to the mark. He said in the fields of the supply chain, cold storage, and areas like fertilisers, both interest and investment of the private sector is needed. There is a huge scope in rural agro-based industries and a friendly policy regime is in place for that, PM Modi added.
Making a strong pitch for the positive change happening in the rural, semi-rural, and tier-2 and tier-3 cities, the Prime Minister invited the senior business and industry leaders to reap the benefits of opportunities in such areas. He said the number of internet users in the rural areas has surpassed the cities and more than half of India’s start-ups are in tier-2 and tier-3 cities. Mentioning the recently approved PM-WANI for public Wi-Fi hotspots, he said that entrepreneurs should become partners in the rural connectivity efforts. “It is certain that in the 21st century, India’s growth will be driven by villages and the small cities, and entrepreneurs like you should not lose out on the opportunity to invest in the villages and small cities. Your investment will open new doors for our brothers and sisters in the rural areas and the agriculture sector,” said the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Modi complimented the industrialists and entrepreneurs for their contribution in the robust rebound from the Covid-19 shock. He said that the country prioritised the lives of citizens during the pandemic and that yielded good results. The circumstances improved with the same speed as they deteriorated initially, he said.
Recalling FICCI’s role in the freedom struggle and their upcoming centenary in the not-so-distant future, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked to expand their role in building the nation.
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